Hello everyone! Today is a big day for CitySurfing Orlando, as it was TEN years ago today that I opened this blog dedicated to covering Orlando and surrounding Central Florida!
From theme parks to local dining to amazing events, I’ve had the pleasure to discover so many of the wonderful things that make this truly the City Beautiful.
I want to thank each and every one of you who have visited this site over the last decade! Every visit, every social media click and share, every comment…you’ve helped shape this site and let me know what you want to know more about in our city and its nearby neighbors.
Due to the Coronavirus, there have been a lot of Orlando and Central Florida Closures, Postponements, and Cancellations. I’ve been posting some to our social media, but decided to create this reference page that will list every one of those changes, as we discover them.
I was recently invited to take part in a media day to try the Interactive Horse Experience at the Al-Marah Arabians Horse Farm in Clermont, and I had a wonderful time.
If you know anything about Arabian horses or would like to learn and meet some of the National Champions, the Al-Marah Arabians Horse Farm allows unparalleled access to many of it’s award winning stallions, geldings and mares.
The farm’s owner, Mark Miller, founded Arabian Nights and entertained crowds for 25 years at the now closed dinner show. Now the Al-Marah herd has been relocated to an idyllic location in Clermont.
Even though Legoland Florida has only been open since October 2011, it wasn’t long after that they were talking about adding on a water park for the guests as well.
The water park is located in the former spot of Cypress Gardens’ water park and features a wave pool, Build-A-Raft lazy river, tube slides, body slides and an interactive water-play structure for toddlers – DUPLO® Safari.
Legoland has set May 26, 2012, as opening day for the water park. Day guests can add on the water park for an additional $12. It is included in the all new Legoland premium pass, which includes 12 months of admission to both parks.
For more information, or to purchase tickets in advance, visit Legoland.com.
It’s been months in the planning and even longer in the building, but the due date is finally here. Legoland Florida will open to the public on Saturday, October 15, 2011.
Located about 45 minutes south of Disney, on the former grounds of Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Legoland Florida is the newest of the company’s five theme parks worldwide. It’s also the largest, with 150-acres to explore and play in.
Aimed at families with children age 2-12, the park has more than 50 rides, shows and attractions. For the older kids, there are interactive Lego models to play with, and four rollercoasters to ride, most of them rather mild compared to most of what’s offered at Orlando’s big three theme parks (Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld).
Though most areas of the park are geared towards all kids, DUPLO Village is designed for the toddlers and pre-teens, and the younger ones will also enjoy LEGO City. Most all rides have a minimum height of 36″, and some require an adult or other rider 48″ or taller to accompany the smaller riders.
Of course, this being Legoland, there are areas to build things with the bricks and adults will get a kick out of Miniland USA, an area with scaled down replicas of cities like Las Vegas and New York City. There is also a Florida area, with recreations of popular state areas like Key West, Daytona International Speedway and the Kennedy Space Center. I was hoping for a Star Wars Lego Miniland area, like their San Diego park has, but alas, no.
Single day tickets online are $65 for adults and $55 for ages 3-12 and seniors 60 and older. Annual passes are available starting at $129 for adults and $99 for kids/seniors. You can also buy a lifetime pass good for all Legoland parks for $2500 per person, regardless of age. Buy admission online to save time and money at the entrance. Otherwise at the gate, single day tickets will be $10 more.
Park hours are a 10am daily opening, with park closing most days 5pm. Holidays the park may stay open to 6 or 7pm. Check the schedule online to be sure.
Don’t want to drive all the way to Winter Haven? No problem. Legoland offers a special shuttle bus that offers roundtrip service from the Orlando Premium Outlets – Vineland Ave to Legoland Florida, for only $5 per person. It leaves once a day at 9am and returns in the evening after the park closes.
For more information on Legoland Florida, or the company’s four other theme parks (Carlsbad/San Diego, California; Billund, Denmark; Gunzburg, Germany; and Windsor/London, England), visit Legoland.com.
On Sunday (12/5), I attended the first ever meeting of the CFL TBEX group. Those initials stand for Central Florida Travel Bloggers Exchange, in case you were wondering.
TBEX is an international online community of travel writers and bloggers and it’s a supportive group overall. So I was excited when Ben Reed (of Adventures with Ben) proposed forming an offline Central Florida chapter of that community.
We then did some intros of each other, and some other team exercises. But the best part for me was the open discussion near the end, where we discussed some blogger issues and the value of individual blogs like this one versus big corporate blogs dishing out travel info.
I’ve added the Orlando-centric blogs to the More Orlando Reads section of the right-side info bar (scroll down a bit to find it).
After the meeting I had a bit of free time to check out the Orlando Science Center. Some really interesting exhibits and I loved that it was so interactive. Also looking forward to providing more coverage about OSC events – especially Otronicon 2011 in January.
Oh and that dinosaur mentioned in this post’s title? Well, have you ever had a photo taken of you and someone jumps into the picture?